Colton Underwood, a former NFL player and star of Season 23 of “The Bachelor,” came out as gay to his family in an unconventional way — while filming a Netflix docuseries about his coming out journey.
Not everyone was thrilled with how the reality star went about it. “I’m not saying I’m upset about it, but I would have preferred it had been done differently,” his father Scott Underwood told the New York Times in an article about “Coming Out Colton.”
Like many of Underwood’s friends and family members, his father first learned about his son’s sexuality while on camera, in order to capture his genuine reaction. In Scott’s case, the two were on a fishing trip when he got the news.
Given that Colton has spent much of his adult life in the spotlight, his father conceded that his coming out this way makes sense. Colton is “an entertainer, let’s face it,” he said. “That’s what he’s chosen to do for his career.”
Referencing his son’s choice to participate in the docuseries, Scott continued, “Am I going to say it’s for fame? No. Did he come out on TV for money? Sure. But who in reality entertainment doesn’t leverage their life and put it all out there for money?”
In April 2021, Underwood made headlines when he came out in an emotional interview on “Good Morning America.” The documentary series, which began shooting in 2020, follows his path to that moment, which involves coming out to his family, friends, and church community. Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy, who came out in 2015, also makes an appearance as he helps his friend navigate the experience.
“I’ve lived my life so publicly straight, and I ran from a community I’ve belonged to my entire life,” Underwood told the NYT. “I knew there was going to be a lot of people who didn’t understand. Maybe at the end of these six episodes, people still don’t understand. But at least I’ve tried to undo the wrongs.”
The 29-year-old reality star, who appeared on “The Bachelor” in 2019, faced backlash after his ex-girlfriend Cassie Randolph alleged that he had stalked and harassed her in a 2020 restraining order. They dated for nearly two years after getting together on “The Bachelor.” The restraining order was dropped in Sept. 2020. Nonetheless, an online petition created in late November asking Netflix to cancel the docuseries has gathered over 35,000 signatures.
“Coming Out Colton” is set to premiere on Dec. 3.